Explosion Video Shows Drone Obliterating Another Drone in Test for U.S. Army

U.S. Army weapons maker Raytheon has aired footage of its military-grade Coyote drones blowing up a range of unmanned aerial vehicles in mid-flight.

The company, which is one of the largest military contractors in the world, released a video that demonstrates the explosive capabilities of its self-destructing Coyote drones.

The footage shows the drones detecting and destroying a range of winged target drones, which vary in size and range, at both high and low altitudes.

In each instance, the Coyote drone approaches the target and detonates violently in close proximity to it, either completely blowing the target drone to pieces, or inflicting enough damage to send it crashing down to earth.

The explosions themselves are extremely visually striking, creating huge, ring-shaped blasts of rapidly moving shrapnel that tears through the targets, with the Coyote at the center.

The test involved both Coyote drones launched using the fixed-site Ku-Band Radio Frequency System (KuRFS), and using the mobile Ku-720 radar system, which can be fitted to a ground vehicle.

It was conducted in the presence of "partners from the Army's Integrated Fires and Rapid Capabilities Office" and "representatives from international partner nations" at the Yuma Proving Ground in the Arizona Desert in August 2021.

The company declared the test a success.

The Ku-720 system is smaller, lighter and cheaper to manufacture than its precursor, the KuRFS, which the U.S. Army has deployed for use against a range of targets.

It has a 360-degree scope and is designed to quickly pick up the track of airborne threats launched at close-to-medium ranges.

Website The Drive has unearthed footage posted earlier this month by Nafiseh Kohnavard, a BBC World Service journalist based in Iraq.

The footage reportedly shows a drone being shot out of the sky by a U.S. Army system, and the blast bears a resemblance to the ring-shaped explosions seen in Raytheon's Coyote tests.

According to the company, the U.S. Army considers enemy unmanned aircraft systems to be a "critical problem."

"We have to anticipate where the technology and tactics are going and be tremendously prepared to ensure that we're a step ahead of any potential adversaries at all times," reads a statement on the Raytheon website, attributed to the company's vice president of business for land warfare and air defense, Sam Deneke.

"We have to anticipate where the technology and tactics are going and be tremendously prepared to ensure that we're a step ahead of any potential adversaries at all times."

A military drone in the sky
The U.S. Army considers enemy unmanned aircraft systems to be a “critical problem,” according to weapons maker Raytheon. aapsky/iStock